Worldwide, the male ferns are evolving rapidly and Britain's - a mind-boggling array of species, subspecies, hybrids and 'morphotypes' - are a constant cause of anxiety among botanists and conservationists who wish to name them with confidence. To be honest, that is not entirely possible, but if we sidestep all of the rare and difficult male ferns and the ones with which we simply cannot make headway (the 'WOBs'), it is possible to get a reasonable grasp of the five commonest species (and then consider the even harder ones).
Our buckler ferns are more clear-cut and usually present botanists with fewer problems. The trickier species can usually be told apart once a few rules have been learnt.
The new WildGuide "Britain's Ferns, clubmosses, quillworts and Horsetails": https://www.nhbs.com/britains-ferns-book
All of the WildGuides: https://press.princeton.edu/series/wildguides
British Pteridological (ferns) Society: https://ebps.org.uk
Music in this video. Download sheet music at: https://www.blue-skye.org.uk
Please send suggestions for additional help presentations to James: huntsup(at)theyorkwaits.org.uk